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Posted on May 13, 2006 in Electronic Games, Front Page Features

Call of Cthulhu – Game Review (PC)

James Lombardi

Graphically, despite the fact that game is a bit dated after all this time in development, it’s not bad. You won’t see it going toe to toe with most of the big name FPS games released in the last year or two, but the graphics are definitely adequate. There is one feature that, as a bit of a film buff, I did love. When you talk to an NPC, the screen takes on the grainy look of a 35mm film print – complete with those small scratches running vertically along the screen. The blurring effects during minor losses of sanity are interesting, but can quickly become annoying (at some points the blurring is very severe which, while that is the point, can be a tad aggravating).

Meet Mr. Hoover. Some say he’s an up-and-comer in the FBI. This guy is less ugly when you’re holding a Tommy gun.

The sound in the game ranges from great to not so good much like the rest of the game. The eerie sounds as you make your way through the village’s sewer systems are extremely well done and disconcerting. On the other end of the spectrum, the constantly repeated lines of speech the enemy NPC’s use while looking for you are far too repetitive.

To top it off, despite a long development time, the number of bugs is a bit too high for my liking. There were a number of points where some strange bug would prevent me from completing a task through several deaths until it would magically work the next time. Oftentimes I would find myself exiting the game, checking a walkthrough, only to reaffirm the fact that I was doing the correct thing and that some fluke bug was just interfering.

"Really, I’m feeling much better, I don’t think this procedure is necessary…" "But at least my good friend Hoover stopped by to wish me well before they put me under. They are putting me under… right?"

In the end we’re left with a game that has a great story and strong atmosphere, but fails to execute successfully. If you’re a diehard fan of Lovecraft’s Mythos you might want to give it a try. There is something to be said for wandering through the game world and finding tomes devoted to dark gods and creatures beyond human understanding. It just happens to be a letdown when you actually have to face them.

Armchair General’s Rating: 64%

04/10—Documentation and Technical

Pros: Creepy atmosphere, some nice ideas, J Edgar Hoover makes an appearance.

Cons: Buggy, poorly executed gameplay.

Last Word: It might be worth checking out for fans of the stories, and it is the closest thing to a good horror story in an FPS game…

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